Batswana students win Japanese scholarships

02nd March 2018
RECIPIENTS: His Excellency Kozo Takeda flanked by scholarship winners Source:The Midweek Sun


By Ernest Moloi -

Three Batswana youths – Mpuang Admore Phindani; Chidzani Mbinda and Segofalang Annah Modisenyane - apparently all hailing from the northern part of the country – are this year’s recipients of Japanese government’s scholarship. Phindani and Modisenyane will leave earlier in April this year whilst Mbinda will depart for Japan in September. They are all going to study for Master’s Degree in their various fields of discipline. Phindani, 24, from Nkange has just completed his four-year Bachelor Degree in Applied Geophysics at the University of Botswana. He will now study Disaster Prevention in the heart of Japan at Kyoto University, in a city with over a millennium of history, but lately renowned for bequeathing the world the Kyoto Protocol on 11 December 1997, an international treaty and precursor to what is today known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Being an earthquake-prone country, it is hoped Phindani will acquire useful and beneficial knowledge in Japan to help Botswana build resilience to national disasters when he returns from his sojourn. Our disaster preparedness and management functions are at best non-existent and hopefully, with more students enrolling in this discipline, we shall eventually build a critical mass of expertise commensurate with challenges at hand. Mbinda, a native of Marobela, will study MBA at International University of Japan, which is situated in Nigata, a place famous for rice wine. He joins other former students from that part of the world, whose experience is contributing in efforts to enhance economic relations between Botswana and Japan.

At present, Japanese investors and businesses in Botswana are negligible owing largely to our ignorance of Japanese business culture. External trade missions mounted by Botswana Investment and Trade Centre notwithstanding, it is self-evident that the country requires pathfinders who can act as pilots to guide potential Japanese companies that are interested in investing in Botswana. This is the message that Japanese Ambassador to Botswana His Excellency Kozo Takeda drilled in these recipients. The only woman in the group, Segofalang Annah Modisenyane, 26, from Matsiloje, will study Architecture and building science specialising in Urban Design at Tohoku University, which is located in Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture.

A stickler for preserving history and tradition, Japan is replete with places of historical significance and has infused in its educational curricular, this character, which it is hoped Modisenyane will help her country to also incorporate in its educational curricular once she returns from her study. The recipients were unveiled last week Friday during the Friends of Japan reception hosted by the Embassy of Japan at the Ambassador’s official residence in Gaborone’s Extension 11 suburb. Among dignitaries present were representatives of the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, JOGMEG and JICA. All the three recipients promised to work hard and not to disappoint Batswana and the Japanese Government for the benevolence it has shown them.

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